Used test: Porsche Panamera vs Tesla Model S

Porsche and Tesla both offer luxury hatchbacks that combine scorching performance with surprisingly sensible running costs. But which car is the better used buy?...

Porsche Panamera GTS 2019 RHD dashboard

What are they like inside?

The first thing you notice in the Tesla Model S is its enormous 17.0in touchscreen, which controls almost everything. It seems bewildering at first, but you soon get used to it. Our only complaint is that some of the icons are small and therefore tricky to hit while you're driving.

The Porsche Panamera has a 12.0in touchscreen, but bigger icons and more logical menus make it even easier to navigate, as do the touch-sensitive shortcut icons beneath the display. We also like the fact that the air conditioning has separate, physical controls, whereas adjusting the temperature in the Model S means jabbing away at the touchscreen.

In terms of interior finish, the Model S feels plush enough, thanks in part to the Premium Pack (originally £3500) fitted to our test car. There are, however, unusually wide gaps between interior panels in places. Everything in the Panamera feels superbly well assembled, meanwhile, and the materials are of even higher quality.

Tesla Model S

The Panamera feels cosier up front, due to a high centre console that runs between the front seats. Even so, it actually has more head room (both front and rear) and a driver’s seat that slides farther back, although the Model S has slightly more rear leg room. The Model S can also carry three in the back, while the Panamera has seats for only two.

Both cars have a practical hatchback bootlid, and the Panamera’s is electrically operated as standard. Neither boot has a particularly low lip, but the Panamera’s is 11cm higher, making it trickier to lift heavy things inside. The Model S's has room for an extra couple of suitcases, plus there’s a second storage space under the bonnet.

Annoyingly, though, when you fold down the rear seats in the Model S, there’s a big step in the floor of the extended load bay, whereas the Panamera gives you a flat floor.

Some Tesla buyers will have opted to install another pair of seats into the boot when ordering their Model S. These are seriously cramped for adults, but legal for children as long as they are more than 94 cm tall and weigh between 16.2 and 35.3kg.

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